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7 Things Your Marketing Firm Wish You Knew

businessman on phone with marketing firm exec who is frustratedOnline marketing is important and evolving, and can seem like the dark (and unknown) frontier.

Or you don’t have time.

Or you hate marketing.

Whatever your reason for outsourcing your marketing, you didn’t invest your funds without expecting some results. And we’re sure your marketing firm can deliver (though we’re partial to a certain online marketing firm if you want local results) IF you hold up your end of the bargain. Here’s what your marketing firm wished you knew (and did) so you’re not that “one” client that expects the moon but isn’t getting results.

We need to be in the loop

You can’t hand over the keys to your marketing and expect results without contributing. Pictures from events, new products in your store, employees delivering excellent service…all these images are vital to an effective marketing campaign. Don’t expect everything for nothing; keep your marketing firm in the loop. Notify them of upcoming events. Return their calls or send e-mails and texts with information and images, then let them do the “marketing magic.”

Viral is not always a good thing

Every business owner seems to be chasing the magic rainbow: the viral video or image that immediately puts them in front of everyone in the world. The truth is that while there is some value in viral, instant fame comes with a price. A million likes on Facebook can actually lead to less engagement or a million views from random people who are not from your targeted audience (those likely to buy) are not going to help you achieve your goal of increasing sales. Think of marketing as a marathon not a sprint. Slow and steady progress with an engaged following wins the sales race.

A crummy website delivers crummy results

A website is more than a marketing nuisance; it’s the way your customers judge your business. A professionally-designed, easy-to-navigate, mobile-friendly, optimized website filled with well-written content earns their trust and sales. It also gains the attention of search engines who seek to deliver the best results to online users (read more about the optimization process here). Don’t skimp when building your new website (or expect the moon from a crummy website!); it is, after all, the foundation for a solid marketing plan.

Your customers are tired of being sold to

You want to increase sales. Your marketing firm gets that. But solid marketing efforts are relevant; your customers don’t want to be screamed at 24/7. Hard-selling posts can be included in your plan, but not every post and written piece needs to be a hard sell. Instead, use the 80/20 rule; 80% are relevant marketing pieces and 20% are targeted selling. (Avoid any marketing firms that tell you otherwise!) Your goal is to give them all the information they need to make a buying decision (content and email marketing are ideal for this), then provide fantastic customer service when they are ready to contact you for the sale.

Strategic tactics (and a plan!) are important

Many a business owner thinks that online marketing is like a point-and-shoot camera. Just post to social media, write up a few sentences, copy and paste a few lines from a brochure, right? This is where a plan and knowledge is really, really important. Don’t undervalue the strategy that a marketing firm can bring to your business; they can make sure that your content is targeted, website optimized, social media posts are scheduled for peak times for your targeted audience, and your email marketing is personalized—all to meet your goals. We know because we do this every day.

You’re overthinking it

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but we have talked to quite a few business owners who think that everything they do is not good enough for marketing. Not every image has to be professional and not every post has to be perfect. Today, relevancy—especially on social media—trumps perfect.

You don’t have time

If we had a penny for every client that said, “I’ll send that to you as soon as I have time” or every business owner that thought they had time to fill in the marketing blanks and never did, we’d be drowning in pennies. There’s no shame or blame in handing over your marketing efforts to the professionals, especially when you don’t have time. Be honest with yourself. An experienced marketing firm can cover all your marketing basis when you don’t have time; all you have to do is ask and give input on a regular basis.

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